Texas



Public Breastfeeding Law

Sec. 165.002. RIGHT TO BREAST-FEED. A mother is entitled to breast-feed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 600, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.

Enforcement Provision

None

Workplace Pumping Law

None

Enforcement Provision

None



59 Responses to “Texas”

  1. Linda says:

    I know this sounds weird, but my first public breastfeeding was at the Houston zoo. Lol. My baby got hungry, there was not a lot of folks in site, so I popped it out and fed my daughter! And instead of getting crazy looks, I got smiles from other mothers.

  2. pamela says:

    i breast feed in public all the time. I know we can anywhere but i did think we had to move if we were asked to.

  3. Lisa says:

    I bf in public all the time everywhere. Only occasionally have I gotten funny looks. My daughter won’t keep a cover on either, so we can’t be modest.

  4. Wendy says:

    I have breastfed in every major city in TX through the years with 4 kids. I have gotten some looks, but no one has ever said anything negative. I’ve had more people tell me they appreciate me taking care of my baby or positive statements. I’m proud of how I’ve been “handled” in TX!

  5. Andromeda Hall-Mancha says:

    I bf every where and any where. My daughter does not like a blanket over her head, but I have discovered how to bf bit more modestly without blanket being flung off 100% of time. I use a nursing tank top underneath a t- shirt, no real need for a blanket. I really like the moby wrap and keep baby facing me. When she gets hungry, I just Shift her and my wrap to one side, lift the opposite side of my t shrt, undo the same side of my nursing tank, and guide baby to breast.
    At Sea World, I had an older lady gave me encouragement.

  6. Cayla says:

    Can someone help me with a problem? My job has a mandatory training about an hour and a half drive away from home and it was told to me it’s an overnight thing. 3 days 2 nights. Here are the facts: I’m part-time, 8.50 an hour, 20 hours per week. No other benefits. AND I soley breastfeed at night and it’s an issue I stand firm on. I breastfed full time for 6 months and had to go back to work so now it’s only at night. I was told to “just pump and deal with it” My supervisor isn’t the one who made the mandatory overnight stay it’s the Area Director, you know the woman at the very top. Do I have any rights? Can they make me pump? Do I have to choose between keeping my job and nursing my child? Someone please send me links or any advice as to where to go for help.

    • admin says:

      @Cayla, sadly they can do precisely this. Texas has no laws to assist breastfeeding women in the workplace. Unfortunately, pumping may be your only option if you want to keep your job. :(

    • Robin says:

      Actually the most up to date federal law mandates employers to provide reasonable break time for a breast feeding mother to pump for as long as 1 year after baby is born.
      http://www.dol.gov/whd/nursingmothers/

      • admin says:

        Yes but it is unenforceable. See my explanation of that on the federal page of this site.

  7. leanne says:

    Just checking my rights because I’m about to move from Australia to Houston and I had always noticed while travelling that breastfeeding in USA seems to mostly be done under blankets etc.

    I’m happy to say that in Australia asking someone to cover up while nursing is an act of discrimination that is enforced -usually offenders only get forced to attend anti discrimination lessons or at worst get sued but still it helps.

    As for dirty looks, they are very rare but at breastfeeding classes the advice is return any look of disgust with a beaming confident smile. It puts the offender off guard and somehow makes them realise that what you are doing is right. I have only had to use it once but it worked a treat! The offender moved on not me or my daughter!

    • admin says:

      Oh Leanne, do you have to move to Texas? Texas is not breastfeeding friendly. I would choose Australia any day. :)

  8. Alma says:

    I’m a middle school teacher and have expressed with milk during breaks with no problems except for many harassing comments and leering looks from my fellow colleagues. I’ve been told to sell my milk for income like they do with goats milk, to other things like don’t forget the milk for my coffee. A male teacher leers at me and my bag that contains my pump and always asks where I am going with a smirk on his face. I brought it up to the principal and there was an investigation. They and all witnesses denied seeing or hearing any of the harassment. End of investigation. I was told to pretty much act like nothing happened and be a team player. That’s it. Is there anything else I can do? I was clearly violated under our sexual harassment laws but with all witnesses playing coverup I don’t have a case. They got away with it while I was left feeling mortified and ashamed.

    • admin says:

      Sounds to me like you have a possible sexual harassment case. I would contact the EEOC about filing a claim.

  9. Sarah says:

    I’ve nursed at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Austin. No problems. Although I thought I overheard a man saying something to his wife about something being “disgusting”. I can’t confirm that he was referring to me feeding my child, but who knows.

    I have a question. State law says I’m able to nurse my baby anywhere I’m permitted to be. If I’m eating in a restaurant and choose to nurse my child there, can’t I be asked to leave thereby revoking permission for me to be there?

    • admin says:

      Unfortunately, in Texas permission can (and often is) revoked. Texas is in dire need of a knew public breastfeeding law.

  10. Rachel says:

    I live in Austin and have nursed in many public places no problem. But one time recently it was “suggested” to me by an employee of a business that I frequent that I should “stay covered up” when I nurse. (I’m pretty discreet but I guess that’s in the eye of the beholder.) Anyway, I shrugged and ignored her and that was the end of that. But my question is, are they legally allowed to “make” you cover up? My baby won’t nurse under a cover, so if they could require a cover as a policy, they would basically make it impossible for me to feed him. I know TX doesn’t specifically exempt breastfeeding from obscenity/indecency laws … but the language around the right to breastfeed is fairly broad in the state law. What’s the verdict?

  11. Tx teacher says:

    I am an elementary school teacher. A coworker recently returned to work and arranged a schedule for classroom coverage for 15-20 minutes in the morning so that she could pump. Our principal told her that she could not do this and would need to pump during her lunch break and her instructional planning time. Is this legal? In a profession that is mosly women you’d think this would not be a problem! I read that there’s a law that requires reasonable breaks for mothers to pump, and I also read about the colorado case where the teacher was fired for doing this exact thing and sued the school. Thanks for your help. :)

    • admin says:

      It is not legal to fire someone for this. However, you have no legal ability to force the school to meet your needs. :(

  12. Lindsay says:

    I am a new mom and at my very first pediatrician appointment I was actually covered up by a nurse that walked by. I was very warm and so was my son. I was angry that she took it upon herself to cover me up with a velour hoodie while I was feeding my son. There was nobody else around as I was in the back waiting area for newborns. If you’re asked to cover up at the doctor I can’t imagine nursing in public without a cover.

    • Sarah says:

      That’s awful, Lindsay! I would have immediately removed the cover. Don’t let what that nurse did to you impact your breast feeding journey! Hugs to you!

  13. Michelle says:

    Personal choice I tend to cover up but do not seem to get anything but ugly looks in Houston. I so rarely see any nursing mothers and I’m expecting again in September so I’m dreading having to deal with this again. I am confused however about the issues people are having with their workplace because from what I read about the laws there are laws where breastfeedong moms are allowed breastfeeding rights. But I know people find ways around laws when they want to. As for the Australian poster … I wish I lived in Australia it’s something my husband and I want to do in the near future but unfortunately my breastfeeding days will be over. I’m so sorry that you’re having to leave to come here!

  14. Leata says:

    I’ve nursed in public a LOT in TX. Just had #4. Have only been asked not to do so once (I refused and they seem ok with it now.) Is anything being done to change the law here?

  15. Sarah says:

    If you don’t do Facebook, try this out:
    http://txbfleg.blogspot.com/?m=1

  16. Our bills in Texas are not doing so well. In fact, it looks like someone may have basically blackballed them. If we can get them on the Calendars by Monday afternoon (5/6/13) we have a shot, but we’ll need to flood the members with calls and emails to get whoever has tagged them to consider giving them a shot on the House floor. I am appalled that this is how our democracy works. They aren’t even transparent about it. Some reps flat out won’t tell you if they support or oppose the bills. If you can rally any supporters we need as many people as possible calling or at least writing. All contact info is at http://www.TXBFLeg.com. Thank you.

    • admin says:

      I have been reading Krisdee. :( So much work went into those bills. Yo Texas, get with it!

  17. Heather says:

    I live in the Houston area and have not had a problem yet. If I’m nursing in public I have had men avert their eyes very quickly. I find this pretty funny since I use a cover… I am also lucky enough to have a private babysitter at my job. I take breaks from coaching and nurse my son in the staff office all the time. After my husband picks up the kids, I pump in the office. No one I have run into or nursed in front of has been anything but encouraging. I’m so sorry to hear about the one teacher- when I was pregnant with my first son I had horrible morning sickness. I was told during state testing I was not to leave the room and should just throw up in the trash can. I turned in my letter of resignation and left whenever I needed to. No one did or said anything. I suggest that if your principal doesn’t do anything, you take it up the ladder. It is unacceptable for them to treat you that way. I hope things look up soon! Keep it up- don’t let a few jerks discourage you from doing what is best for you and your baby!

  18. Mandy says:

    I recently returned to work and had to put my 2 mo old in daycare. I’m lucky in that I have time during my lunch break to go and nurse. Recently I was told that I would be required to travel during the day to do field work, which means being outside driving around in a truck all day. When we go out we are a two man team, so I requested that they send me out with another female so I can pump in the truck as needed. They are acting like I will have to go out with male, just to test me. Next they are telling me that I may be required to be gone for weeks at a time with a new project coming up. There are other people available to do this work, and I feel like they are testing me, trying to make me quit. Do I have any rights? Can they fire me for not traveling?

    • admin says:

      I think at this point, given the recent Fifth Circuit decision concerning breastfeeding discrimination, this is a question best brought to the EEOC. Check the EEOC website for the office closest to you.

      Generally speaking, if you do not have a contract, an employer may be able to alter job requirements (add travel) and lay you off if you can’t or won’t perform the new job requirements. However, since your case may involve targeting of you and unlawful discrimination, the employer may be limited. But it is the EEOC or private employment counsel best situated to help you.

      Good luck!

  19. rustidwell says:

    Question. I support and encourage all mothers to breast feed if at all possible. We have dance studio for children. I have had several parents complain about a mother breast feeding in waiting area with no cover. There are many children, moms and dads in the room at any given time. We have not said anything to the mom feeding her child. I had some parents leave the other night with their kids because they thought she be covered up. We are willing to put in a nursing station or provide a nursing room. Is this an acceptable thing to do?

    • admin says:

      “Acceptable” is so often in the eye of the beholder in a state like Texas where the law does not set the limit. Personally, I don’t think segregating breastfeeding women is acceptable. I think you can set aside space for people who don’t want to see breastfeeding (somewhere in the back or maybe the bathroom ;) ). I applaud you for thus far respecting the right of the breastfeeding mother. If people are uncomfortable, they can move out of viewing range. Legally a separate space is fine because Texas law has no enforcement provision. But assuming Texas public breastfeeding law could be enforced then, no, separate nursing space would violate the law.

  20. Mel says:

    Im totally for women breastfeeding. If you are able to, please because its so much better for the child, even when they become an adult as it builds the immune system. I was not a breast fed baby and I have had many health issues. Even when I was a child. Unfortunately, I was unable to breast feed mine. I was hoping to at least pump and feed them that way, but due to some health issues I have, even that was not handled well with my body. Im very much for the strong woman that can do it and I applaud them. However….there are some women who take advantage of this. When sitting at a resturant and across the aisle is a woman who does not cover up, exposing herself to everyone before tending to her baby, & my 5 year old son starts asking questions, at that point, its not my responsibility to move, but thats what designated areas are for. Some mothers, especially young ones, dont know how to handle it. Im all for it but be discreet because if you just expose yourself, there are children watching & ask thier parents unnecessary questions.

    • admin says:

      When you are the one uncomfortable about seeing breastfeeding, then indeed it IS your responsibility to move. I can’t imagine what an unnecessary question about breastfeeding would be from a child. Sounds to me more like an important teachable moment.

    • mari says:

      Mel, I have four kids and I breastfed all of them. My first refused to use a cover. When we were going out to eat, I would plan ahead and pump a bottle for her so I didn’t have to put other people through what you described. My other daughters all took a cover, and it wasn’t ever a problem. I tried very hard to be considerate of the people around me, because NOBODY wants to see some woman’s boob while they’re sitting down to dinner. I’m sorry so many other women refuse to be respectful. It’s not hard, they’re just lazy.

      • admin says:

        “NOBODY”? Really? May I see the research on this? I have absolutely no problem seeing another woman’s breast when I am sitting down to dinner. I have seen other women feed their children at the breast while I eat my food literally hundreds (perhaps thousands) of times. And yet I was both undisturbed and unscathed. All around the world the vast majority of people sit down to dinner and someone else is feeding a child at the breast. All over the world. Every single meal. And it all turns out just fine. As mammals, in a society of mammals, we should expect to see other members of this mammal society feeding their young at the breast. This, my dear, is real life. Come on and join in whenever you like. Feeding at the breast is not “lazy.” I did not feed my children at the breast because I am lazy (though I admit making formula seems like a pain in the ass). I fed my children at the breast because I am a mammal. People who define “respectful” as they choose and then impose that arbitrary and personal definition on other people are selfish, rude, inconsiderate and extraordinarily ignorant. Women like you who believe that “nobody wants to see some other woman’s boob while their sitting down to dinner” are, quite frankly, morons who suffer from some self-loathing best addressed by someone with some other degree than one I have. But just because you hate your own body, don’t impose that hate on other women.

        Making statements like your comment – now that is lazy. Intellectually lazy. And women like me refuse to be respectful? Of people like you? Your damn right. You don’t deserve respect because you show nothing but contempt for us.

  21. Mel says:

    When im halfway through my meal, & someone sits down across the way from us and pulls out her breast and exposes it to everyone before tending to her baby, and my 5 year old son asks me questions about a womans breast, no it is NOT MY job to move. I will NOT step on eggshells around a woman who does not know how to do that properly. Whats the difference in that and him seeing an r rated movie? No nudity but still if a womans breast is exposed……..to where she cant cover it up…..then yes, i have a problem with that

    • Jake Marcus says:

      @Mel, the eggshells are there in your head only. What inappropriate question about breasts could a five year old have? If you can’t explain the difference between how mammals feed their young and pornography, well again the problem is yours. It is not the problem of the mammal feeding her young. You may have some issues about women’s breasts that you might want to discuss with a professional.
      Jake Marcus recently posted..Why Is An Enforcement Provision Important?My Profile

  22. Sarah says:

    Oh dear. If it were me and my child at the table next to the woman feeding her baby, I would tell my son just that. “The woman next to us is feeding her baby because the baby is hungry. A woman’s breasts are for feeding her babies.” It is our duty as the parents of our sons and daughters to raise them to be companionate and understand the truth about reproductive matters. Breasts are not sexual organs. Their purpose is to feed children. They are not meant to sell Victoria’s Secret merchandise.

    If the situation was uncomfortable for me, I would look away. Only you have the power to be unoffended.

  23. Frances says:

    Me and a friend were at a public aquatic center today. She was openly breastfeeding her 2 month old baby without a cover and a lifegaurd came over and told her there were complaints and she needed to “take it into the bathroom”. My friend refused and said she had a legal right. The lifegaurd went to get the manager. Then he came and told her the same thing. She again refused. So he said he would be calling the police. She told him to go ahead. He then came back and said the police did say that she had a right to nurse anywhere, but also said they have the right to refuse service to anyone… He didn’t actually make us leave because by the time he got done talking to the police, she was finished nursing.

    I’ve been posting around, and many people are telling me that refusing service would be considered discrimination. In my opinion, that seems like a bit of a gray area to me. So we are planning to call lawyers and news stations..

    My question is: will it be worth it? Will it go anywhere?

    • admin says:

      Whether it is worth your time is not a judgment call I can make. What you were told is an accurate interpretation of the law as applied in Texas. Sadly, atttempts to change the law in Texas have been unsuccessful to date.

    • Sarah says:

      I imagine you could get a nurse-in going. There are many Facebook groups that are supportive of public breast feeding without covers. That would be your best bet to spread the word as far as social media is concerned.

  24. Karen says:

    I was wondering If I would be charged with indecency if I do not use a cover. Baby hates it and gets heat rash when I have tried!

    • admin says:

      All laws in Texas relating to breastfeeding in public are on this page. You can be charged with anything. To my knowledge no breastfeeding woman has ever been convicted of indecency for public breastfeeding in Texas.

  25. alexset says:

    Whst rights do I have when I am asked to cover up when nursing in public?

    • admin says:

      Please reading the articles on this site concerning public breastfeeding if interpreting the law on this page is giving you trouble.

  26. Dianne says:

    I breastfed my two kids and if was a beautiful thing but not a public thing. I covered up in public. If you make a decision to have a baby, it comes with planning their feeding times around their schedules, not yours. Yes, feeding is natural but so is urinating and you dont see anyone doing that in public while you’re trying to enjoy dinner. I would NEVER expose my breast in front of children, teens, or anyone. It’s indecent, trashy, and to those who have not experienced it..just gross! The public did not ask you to have a baby so why would we have to accommodate you?? Women should be able to breastfeed anywhere but cover it up. Plan your days to hour baby’s schedule. That just comes with the territory of having a baby and was Your decision.

    • admin says:

      Hmmm, beautiful thing but you covered it up. Planned life around child’s schedule. Infant feeding time is set so you can plan your life around it. Sorry dear but I think you are living in an alternate universe. Up is down, Right is left. Babies wear watches. Do pigs fly?

  27. mari says:

    I am all for breastfeeding in public, but why are you women so hell bent on forcing everyone around you to share in YOUR beautiful moment with YOUR kid? Breastfeeding is beautiful. Your boobs? Not so much. Cover up!

    Alternate universe? Is that what you think of common decency and respect for others?

    Dianne is 100% right. If your baby won’t take a cover, then you do need to plan your day around your baby. If baby eats every X amount of hours, but won’t take a cover, then you need to plan your day so that when it’s time to feed your baby, you are in a place away from people, where you can feed your baby. Or pump and bring it with you. It’s really not hard.

    The only explanation I can come up with is that you women are just lazy.

  28. mari says:

    Last thing, and then I’ll go away.

    Sex is a beautiful thing. Sex between a husband and wife who have been married for a few decades is even more beautiful, in my opinion, because it means they are still in love with each other enough to look past each other’s aging bodies (flabby parts, wrinkles, etc….)
    and make love. It’s all very natural and beautiful.

    But is that something you’d want to see happening in the middle of the mall while you’re out school shopping with your kids? Or when you’re just sitting down to eat dinner at a nice restaurant? Or EVER??? It’s natural and beautiful, but some things were just never meant to be shared with strangers!

    • admin says:

      Probably true that some things are not meant to be shared with strangers. Eating is generally not considered one of them.

  29. Stephanie says:

    I do not understand why breastfeeding in public is such taboo. It is a natural way of feeding your child. It is okay feed your baby all the crap that’s in formula in public but not okay for you to feed your baby what and how God intended you to feed your baby, just don’t get it. I understand not wanting your kids to see another womens breast but its not like they are actually seeing it. It is for the most part covered up by a hungry babies mouth and face lol. I mean sometimes those babies go crazy. haha. What I really don’t get is, it is okay for your child to watch all the horrible stuff that is on the TV nowadays but oh no call the police my kid saw a women breastfeeding. Just ridiculous. They see the same about of boobage on the Disney channel these days. Just saying!!! :D

  30. Stephanie says:

    I acutally have a question also. If you are kicked out of a public place for breastfeeding wouldn’t this be some kind of discrimination? The public place allows bottle feeding but discriminates against breastfeeding.

    dis·crim·i·na·tion
    noun
    1. an act or instance of discriminating, or of making a distinction.
    2. treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit: racial and religious intolerance and discrimination.
    3. the power of making fine distinctions; discriminating judgment: She chose the colors with great discrimination.
    4. Archaic. something that serves to differentiate.

    So if they allow bottle feeding mothers to feed in the place of business, it would be discrimination if they do not allow breastfeeding mothers to feed in the place of business. They owner is in favor of bottle feeding and against breastfeeding.

    Just bored at work and my mind theorizing. lol

    • admin says:

      Discrimination is not unlawful unless a law makes it unlawful. The vast majority of discriminatory acts are perfectly legal. Just looking at the definition, discrimination is not in and of itself a bad thing and it certainly isn’t unlawful.

  31. Janet says:

    When I bf my two children 9 and 10
    Years ago, I don’t remember getting any looks or
    Comments. I never thought of Texas as anti breast feeding until reading the laws or lack of. I mostly used a cover or my tee, wasn’t fully exposed but maybe a tad exposure when latching on.
    I am now due with baby 3 in October and plan to breast feed. And will not alter my schedule around feeding times. Hope it goes well.

  32. Sarah says:

    I want to know where this response to mari went (because it was outstanding, insightful and wonderful):

    “NOBODY”? Really? May I see the research on this? I have absolutely no problem seeing another woman’s breast when I am sitting down to dinner. I have seen other women feed their children at the breast while I eat my food literally hundreds (perhaps thousands) of times. And yet I was both undisturbed and unscathed. All around the world the vast majority of people sit down to dinner and someone else is feeding a child at the breast. All over the world. Every single meal. And it all turns out just fine. As mammals, in a society of mammals, we should expect to see other members of this mammal society feeding their young at the breast. This, my dear, is real life. Come on and join in whenever you like. Feeding at the breast is not “lazy.” I did not feed my children at the breast because I am lazy (though I admit making formula seems like a pain in the ass). I fed my children at the breast because I am a mammal. People who define “respectful” as they choose and then impose that arbitrary and personal definition on other people are selfish, rude, inconsiderate and extraordinarily ignorant. Women like you who believe that “nobody wants to see some other woman’s boob while their sitting down to dinner” are, quite frankly, morons who suffer from some self-loathing best addressed by someone with some other degree than one I have. But just because you hate your own body, don’t impose that hate on other women.

    Making statements like your comment – now “that” is lazy. Intellectually lazy. And women like me refuse to be respectful? Of people like you? Your damn right. You don’t deserve respect because you show nothing but contempt for us.”

  33. Jay says:

    I really don’t understand why people get so damn offended. I can’t speak for all nursing women (obviously) but I would assume most are like myself and would ALSO prefer to keep as covered up as possible. I mean, I’m not a prude, but I don’t want a million people seeing my breasts, either. I try my hardest to be polite and cover up as much as I can. I proudly nurse in public, but I’m not hanging out with my tits out.. I have never personally seen a woman nursing publicly with her “tits out”.

    But honestly, people.. Would you rather listen to an incessantly crying/whining baby or maybe-possibly-potentially see a very slight flash of skin if you’re looking my way. Besides.. you’re the one looking.

    It’s not that hard to look away.